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WikiLeaks: DNC scandal connects legalized marijuana to Big Tobacco and vaping

Posted by Matt Rowland on


When WikiLeaks recently released hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in late July, few reporters expected to find anything related to legalized marijuana.  Most were digging through the tens of thousands of correspondences looking for evidence of a rigged system during the Democratic primaries that seemed to favor Ms. Hillary Clinton over Mr. Bernie Sanders.  But one industrious blogger from the website uncovered so much more. 

Currently, there are twenty-five states along with the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana for medical use.  Four of these have also legalized cannabis for recreational use, and an additional six states are voting on similar referendums this fall.  And even though the District of Columbia, our nation’s capital, is currently legalizing weed, the debate in Congress over possibly issuing federal legislation either “for” or “against” remains heated.

So, when blogger Tom Angell discovered a chain of emails discussing the issue of “marijuana-impaired driving,” he was understandably surprised.  Contained in the emails was a reference to the May 24, 2016 edition of a newsletter named Huddle whose membership is exclusive to high ranking elected officials and certain worthy Beltway insiders.  Inside the Huddle newsletter was a paid advertisement, just like newsletters tend to have, but this one was from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA). 

** A message from Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America: While neutral on the issue of legalization, WSWA believes states that legalize marijuana need to ensure appropriate and effective regulations are enacted to protect the public from the dangers associated with the abuse and misuse of marijuana.
23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal marijuana while Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and D.C. have legalized possession and recreational use. In the years since the state legalized medicinal use, Colorado law enforcement officials have documented a significant increase in traffic fatalities in which drivers tested positive for marijuana.
Congress should fully fund Section 4008 of the FAST Act (PL 114-94) in the FY 2017 Appropriations process to document the prevalence of marijuana impaired driving, outline impairment standards and determine driving impairment detection methods.

Aside from state-listed irregularities contained in the advertisement, the WSWA is claiming that legalized weed is leading to more automobile fatalities in Colorado.  However, while current data shows a slight increase in Colorado driving offenses overall, these numbers are consistent with the increase that is appearing nationwide, whether the state has legalized pot or not.


Furthermore, the WSWA advertisement does not mention a rather groundbreaking 2011 study by two college professors from Montana State University and the University of Colorado which seems to prove a reduction in traffic fatalities in states with legalized marijuana.  In fact, the WSWA claims the exact opposite.

The vaping community has grown accustomed to this sort of false advertising.  The Internet and television media are always making accusations that e-cigs and vaping leads to teen smoking, heart disease, and a whole host of other nonsense.  We’ve been accused of putting formaldehyde in our e-juices and using specially chosen brand names designed to attract children.

There have been stories of “popcorn lung” and “vaper’s tongue,” all of which are total and outright lies.  And just like those two college professors from Montana and Colorado, the FDA continues to ignore relevant scientific research from such highly regarded intuitions as the UK’s Royal College of Physicians which claims that vaping is 95% safe than smoking.


As many vapers already know, e-cigs and vaping have taken a huge chunk out of the profits of Big Tobacco. And as several reputable studies have already proven, the legalization of medical marijuana isn’t doing any favors for the Tobacco Industry either.  According to a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, the use of marijuana “has doubled in the United States in the last three years and is on track to overtake the now-declining number of tobacco users” within the next five years or less.

This series of WikiLeaks emails involving the alcohol and legalized marijuana industries somehow, unwittingly, seems to directly benefit Big Tobacco once the dots are connected..  And as the vaping industry is well aware, the newly announced FDA deeming regulations of May 5, 2016 stand to produce yet another financial windfall for Big Tobacco, as well…by wiping out the entire vaping industry as we know it.  The political tentacles of Big Tobacco are seemingly stronger and more powerful than we might have ever imagined.


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  • I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article
    like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    Kill on
  • Thanks Ray. Feel free to read some of the other blog posts, too. This blog has SEVERAL articles discussing the role of Big Pharma in the War on Vaping. But this is not to discount the significant role of Big Tobacco as well, even though they have dabbled in the manufacturing of electronic cig-a-likes. This is a war with many fronts. :)

    Matt Rowland on
  • You are not quite accurate there. Big tobacco is loosing out in the vaping industry as well, Marb owns the mark ten and the smart smoke I do believe that Newports own or owned Blue ecigs and a myrid of other cigalikes these are still vaping devices. The laws that were written were done so with Big pharma who stand to loose more than any big tobacco company when you find a product that is safer and works better at tobacco dependancy you are actually facing the Pharmaceuticals. Chantix Nicoderm and all those patches lozenges gums and inhalers have taken a Massive hit because of vaping. The Company that owns Pfizer is who sat down with the FDA to write the laws with the FDA. They are also in legue with the Coalition for children against tobacco group.

    Ray on

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